COMIC REVIEW: Saga #35 – A Little Bit of Everything | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Saga #35 – A Little Bit of Everything

By Buddy Beaudoin

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan

Artists: Fiona Staples, Fonografiks


Image Comics

Saga is a series that you can really count on to be good, month after month, issue after issue. Having released its 35th issue to date today, that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.

COMIC REVIEW: Saga #35 - A Little Bit of Everything

Saga #35 – Page 4

When we last left off, Upsher and Doff had found themselves in a bit of a pickle, as The Will had tracked them down with the promise to end their muckraking lives. This is where we pick up, with the captured Upsher and Doff making good on their deal to help the Will track down Prince Robot IV so that he can avenge the life of his former lover, and current hallucinogenic projection, The Stalk.

Fiona Staples has always put in a wonderful effort on this series, and each issue is representative of that, but the opening panels of this issue are superb (as is the rest of the issue). We’re taken to Zlote, a seedy looking club owner from Jetsam with a seedy looking mustache. Outside of his character design, the setting is magnificent. The color schemes are wonderfully vibrant, throwing blues against purples and shimmering golds – the use of color alone is enough to bring the scene to life even without the brilliant character design. What’s so good about it is that, even with all of the hyper-vibrancy, the atmosphere portrayed still feels dark and dingy. It’s an excellent characterization of the environment around such a grubby character.

COMIC REVIEW: Saga #35 - A Little Bit of Everything

Saga #35 – Page 7

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This issue plays out in similar fashion to the previous issue. Vaughn gives us glimpses of all the running storylines as each of them unfold just a little bit. There aren’t any gigantic revealing scenes, but each of the characters seem to move one step forward towards their payoff, which we’ll presumably see at the upcoming end of the arc.

This is a thing that Saga does exceptionally well, where a lot of other series fail. In a lot of books, there needs to be a constant struggle, and it needs to be on the forefront because the characters alone are not always enough to carry the story and make you care about what’s happening. Saga is different. Really, there’s not a whole lot going on in this issue. It’s like one of those episodes of LOST that’s mid-season and just feels like you’re slugging through character development. However, just like LOST, it’s still not boring. It’s still entertaining, and that’s what sets Saga apart from a lot of other series with huge narratives.

COMIC REVIEW: Saga #35 - A Little Bit of Everything

Saga #35 – Page 9

With everything feeling so slowed down right now, an opportunity opens up to remind us of who the characters really are, and Vaughn seizes that. Alana and Marko are still so cheesy and in love – but in a way that’s relatable to real life. They act like one of those couples that you know in real life that you either want to love or hate and you can’t decide. Prince Robot IV even shows some empathy towards them in this issue, which is a bit of a leap from his norm, but excellent development nonetheless. Klara is perhaps the most interesting. Given that she is away from her family, and she’s locked up in this prison with other citizens of Wreath, she has begun to become less eloquent, and started speaking more in almost a thuggish dialect with her fellow inmates. She’s even got face tattoos, making her the most gangsta grandmother ever.

For what The Will is doing, he may not be getting enough screen time. His story weaves in and out of the other ongoing stories, but it’s a little difficult to get a good sense of his characterization right now. However, the issue leaves off with him, as he’s finally caught up to the Robot princeling who is being guarded by a wonderfully vicious Ghus wielding a battle axe. The last page of this thing is tremendous. Ghus remarks “Ghus will cut you deep,” while he’s brandishing said axe atop his trusty walrus steed. For arguably the cutest character in the Saga universe, the juxtaposition on this page is beautiful.

Saga #35 - Page 13

Saga #35 – Page 13

The “Best There Is:” All of the stories that have been laid out are touched upon, and each of them progresses, even if but slightly, towards the end of this arc. Fiona Staples keeps her seat as one of the best artists in comics today by containing a level of consistency that is downright unparalleled.

The “Not Very Nice:” While there is enough character development to keep this story going, and the characters are enough to hold up the book on their own, the pacing does seem a bit slow. The entertainment value alone is not enough to rank this issue with a perfect score, and breeds hopes that things will pick up shortly.

FBI Score: 8 out of 10. Vaughan and Staples are still one of the finest creator couplings in comics today, and Saga is a masterful reflection of that. This series is so good at making you feel for its characters, and though it’s a wildly fantastical space opera, it’s so easy to connect with each of them on a human level – even the ones with televisions for heads.

Buddy Beaudoin

Buddy Beaudoin is a writer and independent comic creator from Upstate, NY. He's a fan of tea, spacey music, and a nice pair of slacks. He LOVES comics. Batman, Swamp Thing, and Jonah Hex are some favorites, but he's also a pretty big fan of the indies. Should you ever need him, walk outside and yell his name loudly...

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